Spring has finally arrived. This means longer days and more time enjoying the outdoors. The flip side to this is making sure outside is a nice and comfortable place to be. Time to clean the back patio and get the leaves off the lawn chairs. Also, mowing that back yard. Well, with all of that said, I decided to make some very "adult" ice cream as a motivator.
After all, that bright big bottle of pink Creme de Noyaux was not going to go away by itself. There never has been a time when the cabinet was opened without that item being noticed. However when it comes to creating desserts, that vibrant color is an asset to have. Another almond liqueur, Amaretto, has the same flavor but will always guarantee a golden ivory hue to any dessert.
Now that I decided on Creme de Noyaux as the primary flavor element to the ice cream, there needed to be some add-ins. Since I had some chores to do, this ice cream needed to be more than just typical to get me motivated. Then the light bulb went off...maraschino cherries (I chose Luxardo brand) and chunks of dark chocolate!
There I had it. The perfect motivator..now I could clean off the patio. After the freezing of the ice cream and the chores, it was time to indulge. I sat down on the lawn chair and ate a scoop of ice cream. As I gazed across the yard with the warm sun on my face, I thought to myself that simple things are sometimes the perfect elements for generating the best moments.
Frozen Maraschino Cream
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean
1 cup and 1 tbs heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup almond liqueur
1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate
1/2 cup maraschino cherries (rinsed and drained)
Fill a saucepan with 1/4 cup of sugar, milk and vanilla bean paste or bean. If using a vanilla bean, split and scrape the interior and place scrapings and whole bean in saucepan. Place over medium high heat and let come to a simmer. Right before the boiling point, remove from heat and set aside.
Next, place a whisk attachment on a stand mixer and fill the bowl with the remaining sugar and egg yolks. Beat the mixture on high for about 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The mixture has reached the right consistency when it is a pale yellow color.
Go back to the saucepan and heat the milk mixture up again until simmering. Remove vanilla bean, if used. Turn mixer on medium low and stream in the hot milk into the egg mixture while continuing to whisk. Be careful that you do not create a lot of bubbles in the mixture by beating on too high of a speed. Once all the milk has been incorporated into the mixture, set up a double boiler and let water come to a simmer. Strain milk/egg blend into top pot of double boiler.
Let mixture cook while stirring constantly. As it cooks, it will thicken into a pudding or custard consistency. A few ways to test this is by temperature (it must reach 85 degrees) and it must coat the back of a spoon and hold its shape if you run your finger through it. Once it reaches the correct consistency, transfer to heat proof bowl. Cover and place in freezer for about 15 minutes. Then remove and stir. Test the temperature, room temperature or slightly cooler is acceptable.
Whisk the liqueur and milk together in a large bowl. Then add the cooled custard and blend together. Pour in ice cream maker and follow the instructions. Add the cherries and chocolate chunks when the ice cream has thickened. Once the churn process is complete per the instructions, transfer ice cream to a bowl and cover with a tight lid and place in freezer. How long it has to freeze before serving is your preference, either soft serve type or hard frozen type.
Tips and Notes:
1. Remember that the liqueur is not cooked down at all, so the taste is prominent.
2. This makes about 3-4 servings of ice cream
3. This recipe is a good base for any ice cream using alcohol, so feel free to experiment.
**LAST YEAR: Meyer Lemonade Cake**